Review: Los Campesinos!-Sick Scenes

All is seemingly not well in Camp Campesinos. Produced by Tom Bromley and John Goodmanson (Sleater-Kinney and Death Cab for Cutie) the slick sound of this, their sixth album, is undercut by a very modern malaise.Sick Scenes,indeed.The cover art says it all-  a misanthropic skit that would make Daniel Clowes  proud. She only went out for some milk, poor kid.

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Artwork contributed

A Slow Slow Death deals in epic anxiety, with wry lyrics Morrissey seems to have wilfully cast off, about lying ‘face down in the puddle on the high street’ and hoping for death’s sweet embrace.  For Whom The Belly Tolls is a shouty, anthemic belter and 5 Flucloxacillin is as euphoric an ode to medication as you’re likely to hear this side of Queens Of The Stone Age.

Even their thrashiest song , Sad Suppers, is full of despair and agitation. Were it not for their sense of humour,you suspect the Welsh gang would be helpless- it’s a real leveller.So for each bratty ,almost emo number like I Broke Up In Amarante there is a gorgeous, acoustic low-key musing on Britain like The Fall of Home, or A Litany Heart Swells, with twangy guitar and stabs of piano, which feel literate in a way that pop isn’t supposed to be these days. So they are kind of an anomaly, and all the better for it.

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Furry fiends: photo by Owen Richards

(Lorna Irvine)

Out now on Wichita Recordings

http://www.wichita-recordings.com

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